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How many people know that he is not body? Unless we understand this first principle of knowledge, there is no question of spiritual advancement of life

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"how many people know that he is not body? Unless we understand this first principle of knowledge, there is no question of spiritual advancement of life"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

People are accepting knowledge from a school, college, university, but at the present moment at least, how many people know that he is not body? Unless we understand this first principle of knowledge, there is no question of spiritual advancement of life. So the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to give lesson that we are not this body.
Lecture on BG 2.11 (with Spanish translator) -- Mexico, February 11, 1975:

Prabhupāda: Anyone who accepts this body as self, he is not only unlearned, but he is compared with the animal. That is the statement in the Vedic literature,

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
SB 10.84.13
Go means cow, and khara means ass. So anyone who accepts this body as self, he is animal, he is not human being. That is the beginning of knowledge. People are accepting knowledge from a school, college, university, but at the present moment at least, how many people know that he is not body? Unless we understand this first principle of knowledge, there is no question of spiritual advancement of life. So the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to give lesson that we are not this body. It will be later on explained that the spirit soul, or the real person, is within this body. Just like we are here. We are within this shirt and coat, but we are not the shirt and coat. So if the shirt and coat is stolen and if somebody becomes mad after it and lamenting, that is not very good sense. Therefore He is saying that aśocyān anvaśocas tvam: (BG 2.11) "You are lamenting on the subject matter which is never done by any learned man." So we shall go further on? Yes? Read, you, purport in Spanish. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating question from Spanish) ...one does not follow the instructions of guru.

Prabhupāda: Then he's misguided. A ship without rudder, or without captain. A ship without captain.

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He wants to know why Lord Caitanya is not mentioned in the Bhāgavatam with the other incarnations.

Prabhupāda: He has not mentioned, but Bhāgavata has mentioned. No, you don't bring any other question. You talk about this, which we have lectured. In this way, if you bring other question, that is not... We are discussing one verse. You can put question on this, not irrelevant question. Of course, that is not irrelevant, but not in connection with these verses. So question means in connection with this verse.